Letters to the Editor

Aquifer ignored in discussion of Brookswood plan

Editor: Wikipedia defines “aquifer” as “an underground layer of water bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials — (gravel, sand or silt) from which groundwater can be extracted.

In 2004, Langley Township retained independent consultants to undertake the largest and most complex groundwater model developed  by any  municipality in the province. Consultants and the Township worked with Ministry of Water, Air and Land Protection,  the Greater Vancouver Regional District and the City of Surrey, in an analysis of 18 aquifers in the Township, some of which straddle the borders with the adjacent municipalities of Surrey and Abbotsford. The area covered in the analysis is 24 km long by 22 km wide.

On March 26, 2006, The Times reported “Township geologist Antigone Dixon-Warren  made a presentation to council updating councillors on the development and implementation schedules of the Water Management Plan.

“ Our vision  .  . is to ensure that we have a healthy and sustainable groundwater (supply) for the Township,” she said.”

In 2007, the Langley Advance reported that Dixon-Warren said “We are working with the province to develop legislation customized to our area and its specific needs, to put in place plans to preserve this valuable resource for generations to come. We take for granted the fact that our water sources are secure and will last forever and this is simply not the case.”

Three members of council, Councillors Charlie Fox, Kim Richter and Steve Ferguson, had been appointed  by council to help develop the plan.

At a Langley Township council meeting on March 3, 2008, there was discussion about a  proposed fill site, known as  “Brookswood Pond.”

After many protests from Brookswood residents against filling the groundwater lake behind Firehall 5, the final  recommendation  by then-mayor Kurt Alberts was to not fill the aquifer lake  behind Firehall 5, in order to protect the aquifer.

Now fast forward to 2014,  and the Brookswood/Griffith Neighbourhood Plan.

It is a proposal to build, right on top of the Brookswood aquifer, high-density  housing. This means removing (to build foundations)  and selling for big bucks,  the very gravel that constitutes an aquifer.

This is ludicrous, simply ludicrous.  Just ask any of the geologists, hydrologists, hydro technical engineers or experts from any country  in the world, for that matter.

This is not only a bad plan, this is a destructive plan. My vote is against it.

Like it or not, Joni Mitchell was and still  is “dead on” when she she wrote and sang her hit song, Big Yellow Taxi — “You don’t know what you have ’til it’s gone.”

Marjanne Van Lieshout,


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